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Lake Oroville Rises 27 Feet in the Past Five Days

The rains are increasing Lake Oroville levels dramatically. Water levels have gone up 27 feet in the last five days. According to the Department of Water Resources, the water level was at 802 feet on Thursday. To compare, the high point in 2015 was 764 feet.

Thursday’s water level puts the lake at 62 percent of capacity. With the rain expected to continue, they are projecting the lake to rise another 30 feet.

Rain Swells Lakes, Dams in Northern California

The ongoing deluge of storms in Northern California has swelled lakes and dams, boosting the prospects for outdoor recreation but likely falling short of ending the drought. Heavy rain hit the region north of San Francisco on Thursday with four inches expected by Friday, the National Weather Service said. In Santa Rosa, the storm caused a partial roof collapse at a Kmart store. No injuries were reported.

Flash-flood warnings were issued for swelling rivers and streams in Marin and Sonoma counties north of San Francisco.

Don’t Waste the Money: Key Climate Experts Skeptical of Forecasts

Many coastal city officials are considering spending millions – in some cases billions – of taxpayer dollars preparing for an impending flood caused by rising sea levels. For example, in 2013, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $20 billion, 20-year plan to protect the city from rising sea levels.

The concerns are being driven in part by recent studies predicting the coming floods, such as two new reports that claim that seas are rising faster than at any other point in the last 28 centuries.

Proposed California Ballot Initiative Would Divert High Speed Rail and Water Bond Money

A proposed California ballot initiative would reallocate more than $10 billion from the High Speed Rail project and the 2014 water bond to instead fund water storage projects. But opponents say it could do much more than that. Some Republican lawmakers who have long fought for water storage projects, environmentalists, and some farmers say the measure is an attempt to misguide voters.

“It is a classic case where people really have to understand, this is not about High Speed Rail,” says Jay Ziegler with the Nature Conservancy. “It’s about fundamentally reordering water law and water rights in California.”

Reservoirs Filling, but Snowpack Worries in California

The first wave of ‘Miracle March’ storms in California offset three dry weeks in February and improved storage in some reservoirs. Now, the state is primed for drought improvement, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor released March 10.

Storms last week brought California “some badly-needed precipitation after rather dry and mild conditions the past 3 weeks [February] caused a sharp decline in the Water Year-To-Date (WYTD) precipitation and snowpack that were both above-normal in early February.”


Economic Impact of Delta Tunnels Topic of Hearing

The state Senate Select Committee on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will conduct a hearing on the economic impacts of the proposed Delta tunnels. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Friday in the lower-level auditorium of the Milton Marks Conference Center, 455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco.

Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, is the chairwoman of the committee. The hearing participants will discuss the “connection between pending decisions, including permitting for the Delta tunnels, in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Bay Area’s tourism, fishing industries, and overall economy and environment,” a statement released by Wolk’s office states.

State Eases Cuts to Urban Water Use in San Diego Region

In response to the recently launched Poseidon desalination plant in Carlsbad, state officials have agreed to dramatically ease water conservation goals in San Diego for almost all residential water users. The adjustments will nearly cut in half required water savings throughout the region, the San Diego County Water Authority announced Thursday.

Water managers have complained that state regulators failed to recognize their years-long effort to secure a more stable inventory of local water sources, including what is now the largest desalination facility of its kind in the United States.